"A well-researched, compelling narrative. . . . Dunn has scrupulously examined the events leading up to and following the forced evictions . . . she has extended the knowledge of the evictees by investigating their lives in detail on both sides of the Atlantic . . . and she has added significantly to our knowledge, not only of these few hundred, but also of the million emigrants who fled Ireland during the Great Famine.—Marie E. Daly, New England Historic Genealogical Society
""Dunn offers a wide-ranging study of Irish migrants who left Ballykilcline, County Roscommon, during the mid-19th century. Recent works have characterized these migrants as the victims of premodern isolation. But Dunn links the so-called ""hidden Irish"" with British working-class protesters in their resistance to the increasingly dominant political economy. . . . Latter chapters follow these migrants to Rutland, Vermont, where Dunn contests another standard image of the pathetic, passive famine Irish. She points to relatively high rates of literacy among Ballykilcline-born residents of the US, as well as other indicators of rebuilt Irish communities on this side of the Atlantic. . . . Dunn uses genealogies and accounts of a quarry strike to demonstrate the way that Old World connections offered New World utility. Summing Up: Recommended.""—Choice
""Dunn has contributed a valuable, meticulously researched addition to Irish and Irish-American histories and their connections. She has set a strong example to other scholars on how to link specific places in Ireland and the United States and how numerous values and certain conduct transfer, persist, and modify across the Atlantic, an important enterprise.""—Irish Literary Supplement
""Mary Lee Dunn’s study of Ballykilcline is a continuation of [Robert] Scally’s seminal study The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine and Emigration. . . . Dunn’s tremendous contribution to our historical understanding of Irish emigration is her painstaking research in finding out what happened to the émigrés, who relocated to Rutland [VT]. . . . Evictions, emigrations, labor strikes and anti-Catholic prejudice of the mid-nineteenth century United States did not destroy the Ballykilcline Irish, and some even exchanged their Irish community for greater integration in the community of Americana. The migration of some Ballykilcline émigrés from Rutland, where they thrived eventually, to farming communities in Illinois and Minnesota is another fascinating part of this study, shining a light on the larger historical issues of industrial labor, landownership, and the gradual assimilation and acceptance of the Irish in the United States. Ballykilcline Rising is a fine and meticulously researched book and adds to our larger understanding of Irish identity amidst the overwhelming sense of hardship and antagonism from larger and more powerful forces.""—History
""Mary Lee Dunn, a resourceful genealogist and a descendant of Kilglass emigrants . . . successfully challenges [Robert] Scally’s overemphasis [in The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine, & Emigration] on the people’s debilitating ignorance of the ways of the broader world. . . . Dunn’s title, Ballykilcline Rising, encapsulates her basic point—the Crown’s minions destroyed the place, but not the people. . . . [Her] work makes a significant contribution because she demonstrates, unequivocally, that at least some Ballykilcline and Kilglass people had the resilience and the heart to establish clusters—the social networks of everyday life and community.""—Journal of American Ethnic History"